The 2021 film “Moxie”, directed by Amy Poehler is a rebellious letter to feminism and everything it stands for.
Moxie is set in a high school that allows misogyny and racism to waltz through its doors. We first see Vivian, the main character, as a shy and quiet girl roaming the halls of the school. She notices everything that happens in every corner. Mostly, what the other girls in her high school go through.
Vivian is inspired by her mom’s activism in the past. Her mom and her friends took part in the Riot GRRRL movement, an underground punk movement that started during the 1990s. Their songs addressed issues that weren’t talked about enough at the time, like rape, domestic abuse, racism, patriarchy, etc….
Vivian then decides to start “Moxie”, an anonymous female empowerment magazine at the school. Later, it turns into a full-fledged movement.
So, the question is: Why are movies like “Moxie” important even if some reviewers don’t find anything groundbreaking about them?
Because it is set in a high school.
Movies like Moxie make topics like rape, harassment, and misogyny more accessible for the younger generations. While some movies can render a person speechless with their visuals and their huge productions, others can just deliver a message. No matter how small it is, it still comes through.
Fueled by teenage anger and angst, Moxie still comes through with its message. All the female students in the film come together in spite of their differences. That’s a big shift from other films that always introduce female characters as “petty” and “dramatic”.
“It’s so nice not to be on anyone’s radar,” says Vivian. That’s after she sees a male student checking another girl with a predatory look. In that one small sentence, we see Vivian being comfortable in her invisibility at school. Because to her, being known means being harassed.
Not only does the film portray the anxieties of being in a space that enables harassment and shame, but it also focuses on how those behaviors are fostered and encouraged. It shows the main male antagonist being the star of football and it also shows him being encouraged by the teachers despite his predatory actions.
Not your typical high school movie…
We’re used to seeing high school films centering on boys making bets to date girls and girls winning them over in the end because “they’re not like other girls”. Moxie, on the other hand, is a fresh voice between all that. It also portrays a male feminist who’s passionate about the cause and we are here for it!
Moxie, in the end, is still a high school film rife with classic cliches but we can’t deny the importance of the message it delivers.
We recommend you see it for a little fun during the week and share your thoughts with us!